Packers - Ravens: 5 keys to the game

5 keys - RavensInsider's regular weekly article. 5 things the Ravens must do in order to beat the Green Bay Packers today at M&T Bank Stadium.

When the Ravens have the football

The Ravens are aware that they need to increase big plays in the red zone. If Kyle Boller has become gun-shy because of his flagrant miscues, then they'll have to go back to more traditional methods of scoring: pounding the football. Fullback Ovie Mughelli has to do a better job of lead blocking for Chester Taylor, who figures to play more than Jamal Lewis because of a sore thumb and disgruntled attitude. The jump ball used to be effective near the goal line, but that well has been visited too often and it's dried up.

Key matchup

OT Jonathan Ogden vs. DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamilla

Ogden hasn't finished the last two games because of injuries, and has traditionally had trouble with elite speed rushers like KGB.

How the Ravens can win

1. Take advantage of Brett Favre's gunslinger style. Historically, his gambles have paid off, but not so much now with his interception percentage up to 4.5 with 22 picks in 490 throws.
2. Cover Donald Driver. His first big game ever was against Chris McAlister back in 2001, and he remains one of the most underrated receivers in the league.
3. Get a helmet on KGB and Kampman. The Packers' defensive ends, Kabeer Gbaja-Biamilla and Aaron Kampman, have combined for 11 1/2 sacks.

When the Packers have the football

Expect the unexpected. Brett Favre has made a great living out of executing unconventional, unorthodox plays, including rolling one way and throwing across his body to the other side of the field. Why would he stop now? The Packers don't throw to many other targets besides Donald Driver with Javon Walker out for the season. Samkon Gado is a shifty runner who is hard to locate behind the Packers' sizable blockers.

Key matchup

CB Chris McAlister vs. WR Donald Driver

McAlister severely limited Rod Smith's impact last week. He owes Driver and Brett Favre after being severely torched in a 2001 loss at Lambeau Field.

How the Packers can win

1. Force Kyle Boller to throw. The erratic passer has proven that he will often make the wrong decision or turn the ball over.
2. Tilt coverage to Mark Clayton. It's obvious that Boller wants to throw to the rookie, who has 14 catches for 191 yards in the last two games.
3. Work the perimeter with Samkon Gado. For an emergency rookie running back, this former Liberty University walk-on has paid major dividends in place of Ahman Green.
 

In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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